Monday, July 21, 2008

High and dry in Darwin

It's been a hectic week; finding my bearings in Darwin, investigating haul-out options and slowly working through the job list.

The Indonesian yacht rally leaves at the end of the month and all haul-out facilities are booked prior to the rally's departure. However lady luck smiled benevolently on us and I discovered a careening grid in fisherman's wharf. It's only possible to use the grid around spring tide which fortuitously happened to be this weekend and luckily the fishermen were out fishing, not anti-fouling, so it was free.

Bottom-painting on a grid is a race to get as much paint on as quickly as possible to allow it time to dry before the return of the tide. The more helpers the better. Charlotta had bought a train ticket departing Saturday morning, Friday was the first day there was sufficient tide at high-water to make it onto the grid, so all was set for a memorable last day for Charlotta, scrubbing, painting and discovering life aboard on the hard-standing. I like to think that I was ensuring she left with the complete cruising experience.

The day before we'd braved box-jelly fish and salt-water crocs to scrub the bottom in preparation. It was clear Kika needed some more paint, the hull scrub prior to departing Vanuatu had exposed the areas I'd repaired in New Zealand as the epoxy primer emerged from under the anti-fouling.It was a long day's work. We were helped by the northern Australian sun drying the paint before the return of the tide and I'm now back in Fanny Bay with a freshly painted bottom and a least one job ticked off the to-do list.

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